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Back You are here: Home Sports MTB MTB: Ready, Steady Cycle!
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 14:01

MTB: Ready, Steady Cycle!

Excitement is mounting for the finals of the 2013 Spur High School Mountain-bike League taking place this weekend (21-22 September) at Bekker School in Magaliesburg, where the cream of high school mountain-bike riders from across South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe will congregate for the third year running.

 

With more than 60 schools vying for the coveted Spur High School Mountain-bike League floating trophy of top cycling school in the country, fierce racing is expected in all three categories – boys, girls and mixed.   The league is run on the same lap-racing format as Olympic mountain-bike competitions, while the points’ structure of the league promotes team participation.  The schools that finished at the top of their respective regional logs will be sending their best riders to battle it out for podium positions.  Spur Steak Ranches sponsors travel and accommodation for the top six riders in each qualifying school as well as the top oval rider in each category.  A maximum of 12 riders are allowed per team.  Each finisher scores a point for their school with additional points allocated to the first 25 riders in each category. 

The league, which was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur and Amarider, has exceeded all initial projections in terms numbers and reach and has grown from 1600 entries and 21 events in 2009 to last year’s 5300 entries from 42 events. 

League co-ordinator Meurant Botha of Amarider attributes the amazing growth of the League to the ongoing and hands-on involvement of Spur Steak Ranches as well as the efforts of a team of dedicated regional organisers and school co-ordinators, who collectively hosted more than fifty events leading up to the record-breaking final.  

“We are really happy with the steady growth of the league in terms of participants, more regional events and new tracks being developed in collaboration with schools and municipalities.  The figures for 2013 have shot up to more than 7000 entries. The level of competition has also improved significantly since the launch of the league five years ago,” says Botha.

The weekend will also allow some time for fun and schools will have the opportunity to compete in a team relay on Saturday afternoon with the option of entering a four-member boys’ team or a five-member mixed team, who will race four and five laps respectively.  The mixed team must have at least one girl, who must complete the last lap.

On Sunday, an interprovincial event will be hosted in the same format on the same route.  To determine the champion province, the top 10 best results of each province will be tallied on the 26 point structure. International teams will compete as nations against the South African provinces.   The 2012 inter-provincial floating trophy was won convincingly by Western Province with a total of 242 points, with Mpumalanga second with 219 points and Gauteng just one point behind in third place with 218. The team from Lydenburg walked off with the spirit trophy.

The 2012 inter-schools girls and mixed trophies were both won by relative newcomers, Potchefstroom Volkskool and Lydenburg respectively.  The second mixed team was Montana from the Western Cape and Waterkloof finished third.  Menlopark’s girls team was second followed by Waterkloof in a close third, while the 2012 boys division was won by defending champions Paul Roos with Montana second and Hartebeespoort in third place.

According to Spur Market Development Manager Andrew Cronje, the group is delighted to be a part of grassroots mountain-biking development at school level.  “We are really proud to be associated with the league as it not only provides a platform for schools to compete in a structured way, but is playing a key role in growing mountain-biking as a sport discipline,” said Cronje.

“We would love to see mountain-biking acknowledged as an official school sport as these youngsters work extremely hard and deserve the same recognition for their achievements as traditional school sports,” concludes Cronje. 

RUN-OF-EVENTS

SATURDAY, 21 September Schools Final

  • 08H30 Sub Junior Boys
  • 09H20 Youth Men
  • 10H10 All Girls
  • 11H10 Junior Men
  • 15H00 Fun relay
  • 18H00 Awards Function/Dinner

SUNDAY, 22 September Interprovincial

  • 08H30 Sub Junior Boys
  • O8H50 Youth Men
  • 09H30 All Girls
  • 10H15 Junior Men
  • 11H30 Prize Giving